Australia's punishing schedule shows there is no rest for the weary, as they move from a long tour to the UK into a seven-ODI series against India on the sub-continent, which they hope will prepare them for the return Ashes leg.

Having already completed a one-off T20 in Rajkot, in which India chased down the 202 required as though it was a paltry 120, Australia will hope their fortunes mirror the last long series in which they faced each other, where the Aussies won three of four games.

Of the 23 ODIs India have played this year, they lost five, but haven't been defeated since July. To be fair, they played five games against Zimbabwe since then, so one would have been shocked if they'd lost, but their number one ODI ranking is deserved.

For a side that gets mocked at every turn, the Aussies are ranked second, ahead of England and Sri Lanka, and have also only lost five games this year. They recovered after losing the Ashes to win the one-day series in England two-one.

If India win two games of the seven, they will retain their number one ranking, but if the Aussies manage to pull off a miracle and win by at least six-one, they will overtake the men in blue at the top of the table.

The visitors are without skipper Michael Clarke for this tour, as his back injury has not recovered enough and the selectors decided to give him extra time ahead of the Ashes. Thus, George Bailey will lead the team.

Clarke was replaced by Callum Ferguson, who last played for the Aussies in 2011, but has been in good form for South Australia and Australia A in recent months.

The Aussies will look to Aaron Finch to continue his good run of form after he made 89 in the T20, with David Warner not part of the side due to bad form and poor discipline. If Finch, Glenn Maxwell and Shane Watson fire, some big scores could be on the cards.

India's side looks settled, though they did make some changes from the squad that played in Zimbabwe. Test batting sensation Cheteshwar Pujara is not included, and neither is fast bowler Umesh Yadav, while Jaydev Unadkat is.

The man to watch though will be Yuvraj Singh, who made his return to the side after being dropped and shone in the T20, scoring 77 not out as he led the side to a six-wicket win. He was in sublime form in that match, hitting five sixes in his 35 balls.

All in all, most of the players should be well used to the sub-continent conditions thanks to the IPL and Champions League T20, enough to make sure that the pitches won't make that much of a home ground advantage.

Key Men
For the hosts, aside from Yuvraj, the man that could likely comes up trumps for India is Ravindra Jadeja. The all-rounder has increasingly become an important limited-overs weapon with the ball and is the joint-best ODI bowler in the rankings.

The Aussies will need veteran all-rounder Shane Watson to come to the party with bat and ball as he is one of the most senior players in the side. He scored a century in the final ODI against England, and has been in India for a month with the Rajasthan Royals.

Last Five Head-To-Head Results
2012: Australia won by 87 runs in Sydney
2012: Australia won by 110 runs in Brisbane
2012: India won by four wickets in Adelaide
Australia won by 65 runs in Melbourne
2011: India won by five wickets in Ahmedabad

While the sides are one place apart on the rankings, it still seems like they are very much further than that, and we're going to predict a series win for India. They won't win all the games though, so let's say four-two with one wash out.

India: MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat

Australia: Shane Watson, Aaron Finch, Phillip Hughes, George Bailey, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin (wk), Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Johnson, James Faulkner, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint McKay, Xavier Doherty.

First ODI: 13 October in Pune
Second ODI: 16 October in Jaipur
Third ODI: 19 October in Mohali
Fourth ODI: 23 October in Ranchi
Fifth ODI: 26 October in Cuttack
Sixth ODI: 30 October in Nagpur
Seventh ODI: 2 November in Bangalore